A stunning, flavoursome cut

It may seem basic but knowing how to cook rump cap (picanha) will ensure you maximise this tasty cut.

What is rump cap?

It’s a Brazilian favourite called picanha (pronounced “pee-kahn-yah”)

Or depending on where you live in the world, it’s called rump cap or sirloin cap.

It’s one of the most flavourful cuts of beef you will find.

And is a relatively cheaper cut.

That will impress your family or friends for a dinner party.

It’s a cut you probably won’t find it at your local supermarket though.

But a good butcher will know this it.

And always go for quality.

And if you can start leading the charge on 100% grass-fed beef.

This way of farming is a much better way to treat the land.

And help improve climate issues that come from farming, check out more info on grass-fed vs other, here.

What cut of beef is rump cap

Image source: BBQ Star

It’s taken from the top of the hindquarter of the cow.

And is usually triangular in shape and surrounded by a thick layer of fat called a fat cap.

Tips when buying;

  • Make sure you have at least a 1.5cm layer of fat attached.
  • And the best size to buy is around 1 – 1.5kg.

How to cook picanha

So, there are a few different methods to try.

You can BBQ grill, slow cook, oven roast, pan-roast

But always remember to bring your steak to room temperature and pat dry before you start cooking.

I went for the pan-roasted method.

It’s simple.

And produces a beautifully rich, robust beefy flavour.

  • Bring to room temperature first and pat dry
  • Score the fat with diagonal slices, then season with salt
  • Place it fat side down in a hot pan and render the fat (approx 8 mins)
  • Season the flesh sides, flip, cook some more, then place in the oven on 120 C for 10 mins
  • Always cut with the grain – the same way as the fibres (you cut against the grain for serving)

You only need to season with sea salt (and don’t be scared with this, it can handle the seasoning)

Whichever way you choose to cook it, the taste and texture are stunning.

I also made a  chimichurri sauce to go alongside.

Not only does it taste delicious with a rump cap.

But the bright green colours make a fantastic presentation.

And why not treat yourself to a lovely glass of red.

The Wente Cab Sav is a perfect match.

how to cook rump cap (picanha)

Food matches

Keep it simple and let the steak do the talking.

But a nice drizzle of chimichurri sauce over the steak will be delicious.

And check out some sides, here.

What’s your favourite dish for a special occasion? Leave a comment…

Pan-roasted rump cap (picanha)

Course Main Course
Keyword picanha, steak
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting time 7 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 6 people
Cost ££


  • 1.5 kg beef rump cap
  • beef dripping or oil
  • salt


  • Preheat the oven to 120°C/250 F
  • Take the rump cap and score the fat in a diagonal pattern, then cover and leave out of the fridge to reach room temperature (if it's not already at room temp)
  • Season the fat of the rump cap with plenty of salt.
    Put a couple of tablespoons of beef dripping (or oil) into a large frying pan over a high heat and place the rump cap, fat-down, into the pan. Turn the heat down a little and render the fat down slowly.
    Season the top side with a generous amount of salt.
  • As you cook, a large quantity of fat will be released into the pan. Drain most of the fat from the pan, reserving until later, then continue to render down the fat until beautifully golden crisp, for about about 8 minutes after draining the pan.
  • Now, turn over the meat, add some of the reserved fat and once hot, baste the top of the meat with the fat. Cook until beautifully coloured on the underside.
  • Next, transfer to an ovenproof tray and pour the cooking juices from the pan over the meat. Cook in the oven for 10 mins for medium-rare (internal temp 55 – 57 C)
  • Remove the beef from the oven and leave to rest in a warm place for 10–15 minutes
  • When ready to serve, remember to cut against the grain so you can see the short fibres. This means it won't be stringy and chewy.